By Edith Regalado and Pia Lee-Brago
DAVAO CITY , Philippines – President Duterte has sought the help of the leaders of Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia to confront the threat posed by the Abu Sayyaf, which has been victimizing both foreigners and Filipinos.
The President issued the call during the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia and the Philippines (BIMP)-East ASEAN Growth Area leaders’ meeting, held on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit last Saturday.
“We have to do something about this now and I need your help,” Duterte told Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Indonesian President Joko Widodo during the meeting.
The three were among those who attended the ASEAN Leaders’ Summit in Manila.
Duterte likewise told the three to let their naval officials and other authorities go after suspected Abu Sayyaf members, even if they are already in the Philippine territorial waters in a pursuit operation.
The three reportedly agreed to the President’s request and that they have vowed to come up with measures on how to go after the Abu Sayyaf.
The notorious group of bandits has been responsible for a series of abductions whose victims mostly had ended up beheaded.
The Abu Sayyaf bandits are also known to consider Sulu as their lair, although they have lately been reported to have also gone to the resort island of Bohol.
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